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88 girls to wrestle in first edition of South Dakota high school championships

Titles to be awarded to 13 female wrestlers; dual brackets also announced

A general view of Barnett Arena at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center on Feb. 22, 2019 during the South Dakota State Wrestling Tournament in Rapid City during the parade of wrestlers. (South Dakota Public Broadcasting photo)
A general view of Barnett Arena at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center on Feb. 22, 2019 during the South Dakota State Wrestling Tournament in Rapid City during the parade of wrestlers. (South Dakota Public Broadcasting photo)

PIERRE — The format for the inaugural South Dakota girls high school wrestling individual championships has been announced, with championships to be awarded to 13 girls on Feb. 27.

In all, 88 girls participants will wrestle in Rapid City alongside the traditional 448 boys in individual weight classes. There will be 47 Class A female wrestlers in seven weight classes (112, 124, 131, 143, 167, 185 and 275) and 41 competitors in six divisions in Class B (112, 129, 140, 160, 185 and 275).

It is the first year the South Dakota High School Activities Association has sponsored an all-girls set of wrestling championships.

“We are excited by the continual growth of girls’ wrestling in South Dakota,” said SDHSAA Assistant Executive Director John Krogstrand in a news release. “We had over 150 female participants in wrestling this regular season, a 3-to-1 increase over last year, and are excited that these championships will help us highlight our newest sport.”

Six Mitchell-area girls are in the Class B fields. In the 112-pound division, Kimball/White Lake/Platte-Geddes’ Akane Metcalfe and Mount Vernon/Plankinton/Corsica-Stickney’s Alexis Hauge are in the bracket. Tina Shields, of Lyman, will wrestle in the 129-pound weight class, while Raider teammate Kennadee Shook and McCook Central/Montrose’s Alexis Bryant are in the field at 140. KWLPG’s Kiana Major will wrestle at 160 pounds, as well. (No area wrestlers are competing in the Class A divisions.)

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In this first season of sanctioned girls wrestling, schools were allowed to freely develop weight classes and pairings for regular-season matches for girls participants. In the postseason, girls will no longer compete in the boys division of the individual championships, but are allowed to compete in the team dual competition.

The SDHSAA has intended to sponsor four weight classes for championships in 2021, but expanded it due to the number of girls wrestling this year. The SDHSAA then evaluated the number of available female competitors and determined the eight qualifiers for each weight class.

The individual competition for girls will begin during the Friday quarterfinal session and all eight places in each bracket will be awarded.

Mitchell_wrestling.JPG
Mitchell's Tucker Vilhauer (left) takes down Chamberlain's Garret Ristau during a 152-pound match on Dec. 4 in Mitchell. (Nick Sabato / Republic)

Kernel wrestlers qualify for Class A duals, seeded fourth

The Mitchell High School wrestling team will have a shot at the South Dakota Class A dual tournament title, starting Feb. 25 as the No. 4 seed in the bracket.

The Kernels, who were 20-4 during the regular season in dual competitions, will face fifth-seeded Pierre (14-4) in the opening round at 4:30 p.m. Central. The winner of that dual will meet either No. 1 seed Brandon Valley (29-2) or No. 8 Tea Area (22-6) in the semifinals later in the evening.

The meeting between the Kernels and Governors will be a rematch of the final regular-season dual of the year, which Mitchell won 32-22 on Feb. 12. Other top seeds include No. 2 Rapid City Stevens (11-3) facing seventh-seeded Chamberlain, and No. 3 Watertown (13-4) taking on No. 6 Harrisburg (31-6).

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Teams had to signify their intent to participate in the state dual tournament by Jan. 9 and were seeded on criteria similar to the individual wrestling tournament, factoring in head-to-head competition, common opponents, power point average and the placing at last year’s state duals.

Mitchell did not qualify for the 2020 Class A state duals, which was the first version of the format since 2004.

Both classes will compete simultaneously in the dual tournament, with the quarterfinal rounds taking place at 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 25, followed by the semifinals at 6:30 p.m. The championship and third-place duals will be contested at 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 26.

Top-seeded Winner Area among six area schools in Class B dual field

Undefeateds Winner Area and Canton are the top-two seeds for the Class B state dual wrestling tournament in Rapid City next week, setting up a collision course in the championship dual once again.

The Warriors (17-0) is the No. 1 seed for the second straight year in the event, while the C-Hawks (22-0) won the 2020 dual championship 49-23 over Winner Area and swept the dual and individual-points formats of the tournament last year. Winner Area will face Lyman in the quarterfinal round, which opens at 4:30 p.m. Central on Feb. 25, while Canton faces seventh-seeded Howard.

Third-seeded Kimball/White Lake/Platte-Geddes (16-2) and fourth-seeded McCook Central/Montrose (20-3) are back in the Class B dual tournament field for a second straight year. KWLPG and MCM will face Wessington Springs/Woonsocket/Wolsey-Wessington and Redfield Area, respectively, in the first round.

South Dakota dual wrestling championships

All times Central

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At Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, Rapid City

Class A

RPCC Ice Arena

Quarterfinals — Thursday, Feb. 25

Upper bracket

No. 8 Tea Area (22-6) vs. No. 1 Brandon Valley (29-2), 4:30 p.m.

No. 5 Pierre (14-4) vs. No. 4 Mitchell (20-4), 4:30 p.m.

Lower bracket

No. 7 Chamberlain (10-7) vs. No. 2 Rapid City Stevens (11-3), 4:30 p.m.

No. 6 Harrisburg (31-6) vs. No. 3 Watertown (13-4), 4:30 p.m.

Semifinals — Thursday, Feb. 25

Tea Area/Brandon Valley winner vs. Mitchell/Pierre winner, 6:30 p.m.

Chamberlain/RC Stevens winner vs. Harrisburg/Watertown winner, 6:30 p.m.

Championship — Friday, Feb. 26

Semifinal winners, 6 p.m.

Third-place match, 6 p.m.

Class B

Barnett Arena

Quarterfinals — Thursday, Feb. 25

Upper bracket

No. 8 Lyman (17-3) vs. No. 1 Winner Area (17-0), 4:30 p.m.

No. 5 Redfield Area (19-6) vs. No. 4 McCook Central/Montrose (20-3), 4:30 p.m.

Lower bracket

No. 7 Howard (14-4) vs. No. 2 Canton (22-0), 4:30 p.m.

No. 6 Wess. Springs/Woon./Wols.-Wess. (15-3) vs. No. 3 Kimball/White Lake/Platte-Geddes (16-2), 4:30 p.m.

Semifinals — Thursday, Feb. 25

Lyman/Winner Area winner vs. Redfield/MCM winner, 6:30 p.m.

Howard/Canton winner vs. WWSWW/KWLPG winner, 6:30 p.m.

Championship — Friday, Feb. 26

Semifinal winners, 6 p.m.

Third-place match, 6 p.m.

Related Topics: WRESTLINGPREP SPORTS
Traxler is the assistant editor and sports editor for the Mitchell Republic. He's worked for the newspaper since 2014 and has covered a wide variety of topics. He can be reached at mtraxler@mitchellrepublic.com.
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